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inhumane treatment of animals

By oliviawold21 Oct 28, 2014 2361 Words

Writing 102, Section 91
April 6, 2014
The Inhumane Treatment
Earthlings can be defined as an inhabitant of the earth. It can safely be said then that human and animals fit into this category since we all inhabit the earth. Therefore animals and people should be treated equally since we share common desires like food, companionship, and shelter, but sadly this is not the case. Humans being the dominant species treat other earthlings as objects. Humans have the greater power to get to decide when, where, and how these animals will die. As said by Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stones Magazine, “Each year, an estimated 9 billion broiler chickens, 113 million pigs, and 33 million cows are raised for our consumption in dark, filthy, pestilent barns”. From the point of being born to being slaughtered industrial farms treat these animals maliciously. These animals should be treated humbly although their futures do include slaughter. All Industrial food production companies play a vast role in the inhumane treatment of farm animals, but do have the prospect to modify these practices. The sole purpose of cows grown on industrial food production farms is for milk and meat. When the cattle are first born they are “removed from their mother straight after birth” (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). What these cows are raised for varies. Males are raised for breeding purposes to produce more cattle. Others are used for milking and meat purposes. The process of these different jobs vary as well, but all cows will at some point go through some sort of transportation to different farms and dehorning. The cows are packed to tightly into trailers that they are literally on top of one another (Earthlings). With the freezing temperatures and fatigue these cattle go through during transportation many die just during trip to another farm. Cattle are also dehorned without any anesthetic so they can feel it all. In the documentary Earthlings, secret video footage shows men using large pliers to snip off the horns of the cattle (Earthlings). Dairy cattle are raised for the lone purpose of milk production. The dairy cattle are “chained to their stalls 24/7” for their whole lives (Earthlings). Its cow’s natural instinct to roam freely and socially interact, but this is not possible when chained to a stall. These cows are also injected with unnatural pesticides and hormones to increase milk output. In ASPCA’s Cows on Factory Farms web article it is stated that “today’s dairy cows each produce about 100 pounds of milk per day- 10 times more than cows living just a few decades ago” (“Fight Cruelty”). These cows are producing this much milk due to “bovine growth hormones, unnatural diets and being bred selectively for massive milk production” (“Fight Cruelty”). If this number has grown this much in just a few decades imagine what can happen in just a few years now. Some cows become so distressed and worn out they collapse. When this happens the animal is stated to be a downer. This is not uncommon for a dairy cow. Almost 75% of downers are dairy cattle (“Fight Cruelty”). When this happens they are heaved to the slaughterhouse to become fast food meat. Cattle are also raised solely for their meat. These cows are mostly raised indoors in small areas where they are unable to groom themselves, turnaround, or socially interact (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). These cows are also put in many excruciating situations without painkillers. An example of a meat purpose cow would be a veal cow. Veal is the meat of young cattle usually male calves. This meat is more expensive than the beef of older dairy cattle. Calves are tied up to their stalls and left there until it is time for slaughter. They are fed an iron deficit diet to keep their muscles from developing, which makes the meat tender (Earthlings). Cows raised for their beef are first and foremost branded. In the documentary Earthlings, secret footage shows a cow being severely branded on its face. A cow can be branded anywhere, but the fact it is being branded on its face is agonizing and merciless. On Wiese Brothers Farm in Wisconsin it was videoed and documented of “workers viciously kicking, beating and whipping cows in the face and body” and “workers dragging cows by their fragile legs and necks using chains attached to a tractor”("Undercover Investigations: Exposing Animal Abuse"). These beef cattle have done nothing wrong to deserve such brutal treatment, yet the workers on these industrial farms feel the need to put these beef cattle through agony. Cattle aren’t the only animals that go through such vindictive conditions. Pigs also endure these merciless crimes. Pigs can live up to almost 15 years, but most that are raised on industrial farms only live to be 6 months old (“Fight Cruelty”). Unlike cows, both male and female pigs are both used for meat purposes. When just 2 or 3 weeks old, piglets are removed from their mothers and placed in large windowless sheds without any fresh air or outdoor access. These pens they are placed in are so overcrowded that there is no room for movement or exercise. It is a pig’s natural instinct to roam around curious, but since this is not an option on an industrial factory farm these pigs become extremely frustrated. This frustration leads to pigs beating other pig’s tails or ears. Because of the on-going tail and ear biting industrial farms now clip their ears, dock their tails, and cut their teeth. These acts are done with these pig are just infantile piglets. These acts are done without any painkillers so these innocuous piglets feel every inch of pain they are put through. Male piglets are also castrated along with the ear, teeth, and tail clippings. Castration is the “removal of the testes following scrotal incision”(“Fight Cruelty”). This is also brutally done without anesthesia just like ear, teeth, and tail clippings. Workers at industrial farm factories use electric prods for handling pigs. In the documentary Earthlings secret footage shows factory workers using electric prods “that delivers an electric current into the animal” (“Fight Cruelty”) to get them moving into their crates. The workers also in the secret footage are shown yelling vile words at the top of their lungs and these pigs to also try to get them moving faster. Just like cows, some female pigs are only used for reproductive purposes. These female pigs are called mother sows. They spend their procreative lives restricted to a gestation crate. These gestation crates “are barely bigger than a sow’s body and prohibit her from turning around” (“Fight Cruelty”). These sows are artificially inseminated and kept in these crates until they give birth. They are then moved to another tiny crate where they give birth and nurse their young only for a few weeks. They are then placed back into gestation crates where the process keeps repeating until they are no longer able to reproduce. These tiny crates create no room for movement for pigs and sadly pigs aren’t the only animals that are shoved into a tiny crate. As much poultry is consumed in a single day in the United States as it was in an entire year in 1930 (Earthlings). Since so much poultry is consumed on a daily basis there has to be an extremely fast way to create all the poultry for output. Of course these industrial food production farms are also going to try and find the cheapest way to speed up output. The first thing that is done to baby chicks is debeaking. Debeaking prevents from feather peaking one another and it prevents cannibalism. Since industries need a fast and speedy way of going about poultry they can debeak ’15 birds a second” (Earthlings). Just because they can does not mean it is right though. Due to this exceptionally rapid process a lot of these chicks beaks are cut very sloppy which can cause tremendous injury to the bird. Transportation has also been made faster and cheaper by loading more birds into the cages. Over 60,000 birds can be put into a single cage where they are piled on top of each other with no room (Earthlings). Since these transportation cages are packed so tight many birds will suffocate and die just during the transportation process. The chickens that do survive are divided into two categories laying hens or broilers. Broilers are the chickens that are grown for only meat purposes. These broilers “have been bred to grow muscle at a faster rate than ever” before (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). The National Chicken Council Guidelines require .6-.7 sq. ft. per bird, but the industrial food farms throw thousands of bird into large sheds as they please (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). The point of these chickens is to be constantly eating, so industrial food farms put in artificial lighting to prevent these birds from sleeping, which will then make them eat more and more. This artificial lighting does not only cause sleep deprivation it can cause physiological anxiety, which in many cases can and will lead to death. A laying hens sole purpose to of course lie eggs their whole, diminutive lives. Exactly like broiler chickens, the process of laying eggs needs to be a speedy process. Because these chickens lay too many eggs in their life span they suffer from calcium deficiencies, which leads to many broken bones by the time the hen is retired. In an on going investigation at Creekside Farms and Kuku Farms in Alberta secret footage shows “thousands of egg-laying hens crammed inside tiny wire battery cages, workers smashing in the heads of baby birds and tossing live chicks into trash bags to suffocate, and dead hens left to rot in cages with live birds still laying eggs” ("Undercover Investigations: Exposing Animal Abuse"). The cruelty these workers cause is first off appalling, but it is also unwarranted. There is no excuse to beat these innocent animals just because one simply feels like it. Although industrial food production plays huge role in the animal cruelty, there is a method to their madness. The reason that these harsh acts occur is because they will be spending less money and devoting less precious time keeping animals locked up in tiny cages and sheds then to be raising animals free-range. Joan DeVries informs The Seattle Times about the difficulties of free-range animals stating that “the cost of feeding the birds, difficulties keeping them alive and finding a market to sell them all pose significant challenges” even to experienced farmers. Since the prices of raising free-range animals are so high, the consumer cost of buying the free-range food will be high as well. Some people may not want to spend that much money at a super market on a free-range chicken when there is a cheaper industrial raised chicken right next to it. Although the cheap prices of industrial farming are revealing to the eye of the producer and consumer it is no excuse to harm an innocent being. The cruelest acts happen during the slaughtering process. “These animals are pushed, prodded and shoved into the HYPERLINK "http://www.sustainabletable.org/279/food-processing-slaughterhouses" \o "Food Processing & Slaughterhouses" \t "_self" slaughterhouse by any means possible, causing much pain” to animals who have already been living in ruthless conditions their whole lives (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). The USDA requires slaughterhouses to meet certain standards of cleanliness and humane treatment, but at the same time these slaughterhouses are in business of killing animals at fast rates that produce more meat at a cheaper price. In some slaughterhouses “2000 cattle are slaughtered each day” and at this rate there is room for tons of mistakes to be made that break regulations (“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture”). For example, one of these mistakes can be failing to completely stun animals before the whole slaughtering process begins. This means that while the animals are being hung and bled they can still be conscious (“Impacts of Agriculture”). In the documentary Earthlings, horrifying secret footage shows skinned cows still moving while moving down the conveyor belt. This footage is sickening and makes one wonder what kind of monster could do this to an innocent animal. Changes need to be made to make the process of industrial food production become more humane. A way of making slaughtering more humane would be to slaughter in the kosher way. In the kosher method of slaughter, requirements “ensure that the act of slaughter occurs with the utmost level of respect for the animal” (“What Makes it Kosher?”). The kosher method of slaughter “causes the animal a minimum amount of pain and ensures a quick drop of blood pressure to the brain and nearly immediate loss of sensibility.” (“What makes it Kosher?”). There is no way of stopping the slaughtering of animals for food purposes, but the kosher method is a more humane way that needs to be pursued more often. Both humans and animals inhabit the earth, which makes us all earthlings. As earthlings, humans and animals should both be treated with upmost respect. Animals involved in industrial food production however are not treated with this respect. These cows, pigs, and chickens are treated inhumanely when they could easily be treated better. The large role industrial food production companies play in the inhumane treatment of needs to be changed in order to ensure the well being of these animals. Works Cited

DeVries, Joan. “Raising free-range turkeys takes extra effort.” Seattle Times 20 Nov. 2013, Web 6 Apr. 2014
Earthlings. Dir. Shaun Monson. Nation Earth, 2005. Documentary. "Fight Cruelty." ASPCA. ASPCA, 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014
“Impacts of Industrial Agriculture." Grace Communications Foundations. Grace Communications Foundations, 2014.Web. 25 Mar. 2014. "Organic Industrial Agriculture." Feeding the World. N.p., 2014. Web 25 Mar. 2014. Solotaroff, Paul. "In the Belly of the Beast." Rolling Stones.com. Rolling Stones Magazine, 12 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 March 2014. "Undercover Investigations: Exposing Animal Abuse." Mercy for Animals.2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. “What Makes it Kosher?” Growth & Behold. Grow and Behold Foods, 2014. Web. 5 Apr. 2014

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